Word count: 740
Prompt: scratchingpost1, Buffy/Giles, very hot weather, power outage in the middle of the night, and ice.
Notes: Did I say plotless? What was I thinking? There's no way this meets the challenge criteria. Also: points for reference-spotting.
Giles stood barefoot, in t-shirt and jeans and resenting even that much clothing, in the lobby of the Hyperion Hotel. His nerves jumped and his skin itched. Angel spread his hands, helpless and baffled. The Hyperion had no air conditioning. It had never occurred to him to want it. Why did they want it now?
The Santa Ana winds, Wesley said, standing behind Cordelia's wheelchair, turning the summer night into dry hell, choking it with the desert dust and the ash of forest fires a hundred miles away. Cordelia snorted, and told Angel that it was because it was hot. She waxed long on the topic of vampires and their lack of consideration for the needs of the living, such as the need for ramp access to her room until she recovered. She was still waxing when Xander nudged Giles' arm and dragged him over to where he'd repaired the surviving ice machine, just off what had been the lobby. Giles gratefully filled the little plastic bucket Xander gave him.
The elevator doors shut on the lobby noise, and it lurched into motion. Giles rode with the ice bucket up to the top floor, where Buffy and he had set up. Set up for what, he had no idea. Nor did he need one, just yet. Days spent lounging poolside under an umbrella, watching Buffy swim while he read, nights spent in restful talk, or restless silence. Tonight it was too hot for either, and too hot to sleep. Dry, itchy.
Anything could happen.
The elevator released him onto the stifling hallway. As he stepped from it, the lights died and the hotel sighed to silence. The doors froze, half-shut behind him. And then a moment later, voices echoing from the stairwell, as its residents called to each other. Giles was enough of a Californian now to curse PG&E and its rolling outages, and still enough Watcher that the darkness of the hallway did not trouble him. He made his sure-footed way to their door, bare feet silent on the carpet.
His Slayer, his lover, was face down on the bed, stretched out diagonally across the sheets. She was wearing a tank top and a pair of his boxer shorts, and looked ridiculous and adorable. She rolled over and sat up, head cocked.
"The building just lost power. I have ice."
"Power's out all over. Heard it. There was a sort of collective groan from the street." She gestured vaguely toward the open window. The breeze coming through was hotter than the air in the room, and bone-dry.
Giles tossed the bucket to her. Buffy caught it easily. He shucked his jeans and let himself fall across the bed next to her. She was on her back, arms clasped loosely around the bucket resting on her belly. Condensation dripped down the sides. She'd rested a single ice fragment on the center of her forehead. Giles watched it melt, watched silvered droplets of water run down to her temples. He set the bucket aside on the bed. He took another piece of ice, already wet and dripping, and ran it down her nose to her lips. She opened her mouth for it, but he painted the ice across her lips, around and around. He let it rest in the groove under her nose. She twitched.
"This is called the philtrum."
"The root is the Greek word for love. The ancient Greeks thought it was an erogenous zone."
She smiled at him, and the ice slid down and vanished, a damp spot on the sheets. "So does modern Buffy."
Giles let his mouth brush over her cool lips. He reached into the bucket for more ice. This piece he slid over her throat, over the pulse point of the carotid, down to the hollow at the base.
"This is the throat. It's also an erogenous zone, according to some."
Buffy closed her eyes. "Did the Greeks have a funny name for it?"
"I don't know," said Giles.
He kissed the places he'd wet with the ice, bending over her in the dim room. Salt, sweat, peaches. Far below, on the street, a car alarm howled. He reached a hand into the ice bucket and touched it to her breastbone. He traced around the edges of her neckline. Buffy shivered delicately. He pressed his lips to her damp chest, and slipped a hand under her shirt.
Anything could happen.